COLUMBIA HEIGHTS, Minn. (WCCO) – A popular Columbia Heights bowling alley that got its start 47 years ago will have to close its doors at the end of the month.

Mady’s Bowl and Lounge at 3919 Central Ave. has been struggling for some time. Owner Gene Mady said the facility has to close April 30 because business just isn’t what it used to be. He said he had to continuously put his own money into the alley to keep it running, but time has run out.

Mady also said it’s difficult for his facility to compete with other bowling centers because they offer more than just bowling.

Mady’s Bowl and Lounge has been a fixture in Columbia Heights since 1964. Mady himself became a member of the USBC Hall of Fame in 2006 and set up the first “Las Vegas League,” which today still sends leagues to Las Vegas for banquets. Gene Mady’s son, Bart Mady, has managed the bowling alley for the past 40 years.

The alley was featured in the TV shows “Bowlarama” and Comedy Central’s “Let’s Bowl.” It was also used for a recreation of the movie “The Big Lebowski.” It was also featured in City Pages as one of their best bowling alleys.

The family will host a closing party from noon to midnight on Saturday, April 30.

Comments (7)
  1. Terrible says:

    Too bad he did’t donate any money to Obama, he might of got some bailout money like his banking buddies.

    i think little businesses like this are too big to fail

    1. wheat says:

      Terrible GET A LIFE!!!!!!!!!!!

    2. doug says:

      Too bad he didn’t fake a pregnancy with a baby afflicted with Down’s Syndrome so he could have a TV show based on a lifestyle he doesn’t lead.

      See, I can do it too; make a post that has nothing to do with anything.

  2. Jerry Freeman says:

    I think there is an error as to when Mady’s opened. I lived a block away as a kid and I was bowling there in either 1956 or 1957 in a Junior League. Also I bet nobody remembers there was a National Tea Grocery store above and to the North end

  3. Bart Mady says:

    Yes you are right Jerry, You have a good memory! It was called “Height’s Bowl” pre-1964 when my Grandfather Chet Mady took it over in ’64 and renamed it Mady’s. Not sure though when it opened as Height’s Bowl though I’d have to research that more. Thanks to all who passed through our doors over the years, and as was said before the start of every league “Good Luck and Good Shooting”. The Mady’s will miss you all.

  4. Detective Jewel says:

    People would come from all over to buy dope at Mady’s..It was that kinda place..A neighborhood trouble spot for sure.

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